Luton woman jailed 5 years after slashing other woman's neck with broken bottle-top in McDonald's doorway

McDonald's in Luton
McDonald's in Luton

A Luton woman has been jailed for five years after wounding another woman's neck with a broken bottle-top in the doorway of McDonald's.

Penny Allen, 43, of Hazelbury Crescent, was loitering in the doorway of the fast-food shop in George Street with other associates on Sunday, November 11, last year when the attack took place.

Allen had asked a woman trying to enter the store for a cigarette and became aggressive when she refused. Fuelled by drink and drugs, Allen lunged at her victim with a broken bottle-top and wounded the woman's neck.

Today at Luton Crown Court, it was heard that the victim had managed to take a step away and was lucky not to have received more serious injuries.

Allen was convicted after a trial by jury.

Judge Steven Evans said: "The offence was outside a busy McDonalds with many members of the public passing in and out... anyone who wanted to get into McDonald's had to negotiate through the group of people you were with.

"After you had wounded [the victim] you began making threats ... it was obvious to me and, no doubt to the jury, that in the immediate aftermath of the offence you showed no care to your victim."

The court heard that Allen had continued brandishing the broken bottle-top after the attack and made threats against anyone calling the police.

She was heard to shout: "Snitches get stitches."

Allen has a criminal history dating back to 2004, with offences including disorderly behaviour, violence, multiple counts of dishonesty, racially aggravated harassment and possession of a knife in a public place.

In mitigation, it was stated Allen had suffered an abusive upbringing and had been passed through the care system before descending into a life of drink and drug addiction.

Appearing via videolink from HMP Peterborough, Allen began to weep into her arm as her history was read to the court.

The judge said: "You had a tragic childhood... You were abused in every sense possible."

Because of this mitigation, the sentence was reduced from a six-year period of imprisonment to five years. The court also heard that Allen had successfully weened herself off heroin.